Ashton Kutcher says his highly publicised split from Demi Moore helped shape who he is today.
The 39-year-old actor received the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday and was sure to credit some of his not-so-pretty moments for his good character.
“I’m also probably the first person to get this award for character who had, like, his name splashed across every gossip magazine as an adulterer like five years ago,” he said, alluding to his and Moore’s 2013 divorce.
“Character comes when those magazines tear you apart for something you may or may not have done and you gotta go out and perform tomorrow — with everyone looking at you like you might be an adulterer.”
Kutcher and Moore, 54, wed in 2005 and parted ways six years later. Kutcher later married his fellow That ’70s Show alum Mila Kunis in 2015 and the couple have two children, daughter Wyatt, 2, and 4-month-old son Dimitri.
Along with some controversial moments, Kutcher also credited his family for helping shape his character — he said Kunis “kicks my a– on character every day.”
He called his young children “the greatest, greatest lesson in character in my life.”
“When my wife and I had these kids and we got to share that amazing, amazing, amazing honour, my first response was, I wanted to call my parents and say, ‘I’m sorry, because I never knew how much you loved me,’ ” Kutcher quipped.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.